A FreshWater Watch scientific partner in Hong Kong has published research incorporating the findings of HSBC Citizen Scientist Leaders (CSLs)
The Open University of Hong Kong (OUHK) published the paper for the 1st International Conference on the Beneficial Uses of Algal Biomass
The paper discusses the preliminary results of algae biodiversity studies using data collected by CSLs on FreshWater Watch research and learning days in Hong Kong.
OUHK scientists hope to learn more about the relationship between water quality and algae diversity. This understanding could be used to predict potential risks associated with algal bloom – a rapid increase in the population of algae – from river discharges (the volume of water flowing through the river bed). Algal blooms – sometimes known as ’red tides’ - can produce dangerous toxins, and have harmful effects on an area’s environment and economy.
The paper acknowledges the support of Earthwatch and the contribution CSLs from the HSBC Water Programme in Hong Kong.
Steven Loiselle, Earthwatch Research Manager for Global Freshwater Research, said:
“Algal blooms are a major problem for the management of inland coastal waters. OUHK was one of the first institutes to study the occurrence of red algal blooms in the coastal waters of Hong Kong. Now, OUHK and CSLs are teaming together to examine the conditions of local streams and the presence of different kinds of microalgae, both bloom forming and not.
“The results of this study will provide valuable information to the Environmental Protection Department of Hong Kong and the local communities regarding the diversity of water quality and dynamics of microalgae in the city.”
The international conference, which was held in November, explored new ideas regarding emerging and useful technologies in algal biology, through collaboration among experts and scientists from various institutions in Hong Kong, mainland China and overseas.